Full List of Programs Offered
Night sky tours using our Spitz A3P Star Ball:
These shows are presented live by Planetarium staff and allow for audience interaction. Each show runs about 30 minutes and can be adjusted for different age levels. Note: The planetarium is very dark during these shows.
- Tonight's Sky: Sit back and enjoy a tour of tonight’s sky. You will learn what stars and constellations are visible, tips and tricks to help you find them, and we’ll share some of the stories told around the world about these stars.
- The Classical Greek Sky: Many of the constellations you probably know were created by the ancient Greeks. Explore the skies and learn the Greek constellations and some of the stories behind them. This show is similar to Tonight's Sky but focuses specifically on Greek constellations and stories.
- Cultural Skies: Most cultures around the world used the stars to tell stories. Explore the skies as seen from different cultural perspectives and hear the stories they tell. This show is similar to Tonight's Sky but focuses specifically on non-Greek constellations and stories.
- Indigenous Skies: Native Americans have their own myths and legends of the night sky that differ greatly from the traditional stories we often hear. Join us for an introduction to the night sky as interpreted by early Americans. **Presented by Jim Rock. Only available by request at the discretion of Jim.
Tours of the universe using Digistar 7:
These shows are presented live by the Planetarium staff and allow for audience interaction. Each show runs about 30 minutes and can be adjusted for different age levels.
- Journey Through the Solar System: All aboard the MWAP spaceship, it's almost time for liftoff! Sit back and enjoy the view as we fly around the canyons on Mars, plunge through Saturn's rings, find out why Pluto is now classified as a dwarf planet, and more! Join us on our Journey Through the Solar System
- Expedition: Moons: Our solar system has over 150 moons! Hop in the MWAP spaceship and we'll explore some of the most interesting moons our solar system has to offer. There's a moon full of volcanoes, another with a giant ocean, and so much more! Join us as we set out on Expedition: Moons.
- Adventure to the Edge of the Universe: Planets and stars and galaxies, oh my! Jump in the MWAP spaceship as we take off for an epic journey to see all our universe has to offer. We'll journey to other planetary systems, fly through giant gas clouds, and find out how many galaxies are out there. Joins us as we Adventure to the Edge of the Universe.
These pre-recorded shows take audiences on journeys to the near and far through educational, interesting and sometimes comical narratives.
These shows are ideal for a younger audience.
Amazing Stargazing: Learn all the sky watching basics with the fun characters from Radio Aahs. Meet Aahsie and the gang as they happily explain the causes for day & night, moon phases, and the difference between comets and meteors.
Length: 34 mins Audience: Grades 1-4
Body Code: Fly through the carotid artery; explore the eye, brain, ear, and heart. Then, shrink into a cell to see its nucleus and DNA within. Discover how DNA programs the body's cells to form the circulatory and nervous systems. Then watch from inside as we use lasers to fight disease at the cellular level.
Length: 21 min Audience: Grades 3 and up
Cosmic Colors: Cosmic Colors will take you on a wondrous journey across the entire electromagnetic spectrum. Discover the many reasons for color—like why the sky is blue and why Mars is red. Take a tour within a plant leaf and journey inside the human eye. Investigate x-rays by voyaging to a monstrous black hole and then back at your doctor’s office. You will even see the actual color of a dinosaur--based on recent evidence. Get ready for an amazing adventure under a rainbow of cosmic light!
Length: 33 mins Audience: Grades 5 & up
Earth, Moon, & Sun: Coyote has a razor-sharp wit, but he's a little confused about what he sees in the sky. Join this amusing character (adapted from American Indian oral traditions) in a fast-paced and fun fulldome show that explores lunar phases, eclipses and other puzzles. Engaging and immersive, Earth, Moon & Sun™ also examines how humans learn through space exploration. A perfect show for families with school-aged kids!
Length: 26 min Audience: Grades 1-6
Earth's Wild Ride: Imagine Earth was a distant place you once called home but could never visit again. What would you remember most about the planet, and how would you describe it to your grandchildren? Set on the surface of the Moon in the year 2081, a grandfather and granddaughter watch a solar eclipse from scenic cliffs overlooking their moon colony. Conversation leads to contrasts between the moon, the only home the granddaughter knows, and the Earth, where the grandfather has spent most of his life. As they watch the Moon's shadow move across Earth, the grandfather tells stories of crashing asteroids, erupting volcanoes, roaring dinosaurs, electrifying lightning and booming thunder. Each experience begins with a telescope view of the dynamic Earth in stark contrast with the unchanging lunar landscape.
Length: 20 min Audience: Grades 2 and up
Hercules and Other Superhero Stars: What better way to learn about the rainbow of stars than from the stars in the sky? Watch Hercules and other constellations come alive to show how stars work, the difference between red and blue stars, and all the spectacular stellar features up above.
Length: 30 mins Audience: Grades 1-4
In My Backyard: Join children's entertainer Fred Penner as he explores things large and small, from the colors of the rainbow, to the reasons for the seasons. Through the use of entertaining songs and immersive environments, children are encouraged to participate while learning about the planets, constellations, meteors, the moon and more.
Length: 31 min Audience: Prek-1st grade
Larry: Cat in Space: Take off on a lunar adventure with a curious stowaway cat! A playful, imaginative cartoon presentation about an inquisitive cat who takes a trip to the Moon. Great for young children!
Length: 30 mins Audience: Grades PreK-3
Polaris, the Space Submarine and the Mystery of the Polar Night: James, a traveling penguin from the South Pole, and Vladimir, a funny bear from the North Pole, meet on the Arctic sea ice. They become friends, talk about their respective regions and observe the stars together, wondering why the night is so long at the poles of the Earth. Novice astronomers, they are trying to solve this mystery by reasoning and observation.
Length: 29 mins Audience: Grades 1-6
Sunstruck: Discover the wonders of our Sun. Its incredible energy has supported life on earth for millennia, but is now threatening our technology and way of life. Travel to the distant future to discover our Sun's connection to the Universe's cosmic cycle of life and death.
Length: 22 mins Audience: Grades 5 & up
Two Small Pieces of Glass: Join two students as they explore with a female astronomer at a local star party. Along the way, the students learn the history of the telescope from Galileo’s modifications to a child’s spyglass — using two small pieces of glass — to the launch of the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope and the future of astronomy. Aiming to engage and appeal to audiences of all ages, the show explores the wonder and discovery made by astronomers throughout the last 400 years.
Length: 23 mins Audience: Grades 3 & up
General Public Shows
These shows are great for all ages!
Black Holes: The Other Side of Infinity: No longer the stuff of science fiction, the discovery of the black hole is a triumph of modern science. Explore the fascinating world of black holes in this program narrated by Academy Award nominated actor Liam Neeson.
Length: 23 mins
Big Astronomy: People, Places, Discoveries: Big Astronomy shares the story of the people and places who make big astronomy and big science happen. This show takes visitors to the extreme sites where astronomy happens in the most extreme environments and with some of the most interesting people.
Length: 26 mins
Dynamic Earth: Explore the inner workings of Earth's climate system. With visualizations based on satellite monitoring data and advanced supercomputer simulations, this cutting-edge production follows a trail of energy that flows from the Sun into the interlocking systems that shape our climate: the atmosphere, oceans, and the biosphere. Audiences will ride along on swirling ocean and wind currents, dive into the heart of a monster hurricane, come face-to-face with sharks and gigantic whales, and fly into roiling volcanoes. Narrated by Liam Neeson.
Length: 24 mins
Europe to the Stars: Europe to the Stars takes the viewer on an epic journey behind the scenes at the most productive ground-based observatory in the world, revealing the science, the history, the technology and the people. Discover the European Southern Observatory in a story of cosmic curiosity, courage and perseverance; a story of observing a Universe of deep mysteries and hidden secrets; and a story of designing, building and operating the most powerful ground-based telescopes on the planet. The movie focuses on the essential aspects of an astronomical observatory, while offering a broader view of how astronomy is done. From site-testing to locate the best places in the world for observing the sky, to how telescopes are built and what mysteries of the Universe astronomers are revealing.
Length: 32 mins
From Earth to the Universe: The night sky, both beautiful and mysterious, has been the subject of campfire stories, ancient myths and awe for as long as there have been people. A desire to comprehend the Universe may well be humanity's oldest shared intellectual experience. Yet only recently have we truly begun to grasp our place in the vast cosmos. To learn about this journey of celestial discovery, from the theories of the ancient Greek astronomers to today's grandest telescopes, we invite you to experience From Earth to the Universe.
Length: 32 mins
The Hot and Energetic Universe: The planetarium documentary “The Hot and Energetic Universe” presents, with the use of Immersive visualisations and real images, the achievements of modern astronomy, the most advanced terrestrial and orbital observatories, the basic principles electromagnetic radiation and the natural phenomena related to the High Energy Astrophysics.
Length: 30 mins
Light Years from Andromeda: A beam of light leaves the Andromeda Galaxy and arrives at Earth over 2 million years later. Follow the light beam as it travels through intergalactic space and discover how vast the space is between galaxies. Learn about the history of humanity and the how astronomy developed in the amount of time it took the light beam to reach us. "Light Years From Andromeda is a story of cosmic distances, and humanity's quest to understand the universe. Take a journey of epic proportions across space and time!" Narrated by Michael Dorn.
Length: 30 mins
Oasis in Space: Oasis In Space transports the audience on a startling and beautiful voyage through our universe, galaxy and solar system in search of liquid water, a key ingredient for life on Earth.
Length: 23 min
Out There: The Quest for Extrasolar Worlds: For thousands of years, mankind thought that the Earth was the center of the Universe. Thanks to our curiosity, imagination and urge to explore, we now know that planets like our Earth are nothing special in the cosmos. The Sun is just one ordinary star among hundreds of billions in our galaxy, the Milky Way. With the world’s most powerful telescopes, we are able to explore more and more of the Universe. What we have found so far has surpassed even the wildest expectations of scientists as well as authors of science fiction. Most stars have planets — it turns out they are more common than we thought. A huge diversity of different worlds is out there, just waiting to be discovered.
Length: 30 mins
Phantom of the Universe: The Hunt for Dark Matter: Discover the first hints of the existence of dark matter through the eyes of Fritz Zwicky, the scientist who coined the term “dark matter.” Watch the astral choreography witnessed by Vera Rubin in the Andromeda galaxy and then plummet deep underground to see the most sensitive dark matter detector on Earth, housed in a former gold mine. From there, journey across space and time to the Large Hadron Collider at CERN, speeding alongside particles before they collide in visually stunning explosions of light and sound, while learning how scientists around the world are collaborating to track down the constituents of dark matter. It is narrated by Oscar-winning actress, Tilda Swinton.
Length: 28 mins
Seeing! A Photon's Journey Across Space, Time, and Mind: Follow the journey of a single photon as it is produced in a distant star, before travelling across the vast expanse of space to land on someone's retina. This fulldome planetarium show explores some of the fascinating processes of the cosmos, from astrophysics to the biology of the eye and brain. The show is narrated by astronomer and science communicator, Neil deGrasse Tyson.
Length: 27 mins
Stars of the Pharaohs: Travel to ancient Egypt to see how science was used to tell time, make a workable calendar, and align huge buildings. You'll learn about the connection the ancient Egyptians felt with the stars and various astronomical phenomena, and experience some of the most spectacular temples and tombs of the ancient world recreated in all of their original splendor. Telly Award winner. Narrated by John Rhys-Davies, of the Indiana Jones films and The Lord of the Rings films.
Length: 36 mins
The Sun, Our Living Star: The Sun has shone on our world for four and a half billion years. The light that warms our skin today has been felt by every person who has ever lived. It is our nearest star and our planet’s powerhouse, the source of the energy that drives our winds, our weather and all life. The passage of the Sun’s fiery disc across the sky — day by day, month by month — was the only way to keep track of time for countless past civilisations. Don’t be fooled by the terminology; although it is a typical dwarf star, the Sun consumes 600 million tons of hydrogen each second and is 500 times as massive as all the planets combined. Discover the secrets of our star in this planetarium show and experience never-before-seen images of the Sun’s violent surface in immersive fulldome format.
Length: 25 mins
Totality: This program is all about eclipses, from lunar to total solar. We cover how they occur and what happens when they do. We look back to the proof of general relativity and look forward to upcoming eclipses and where to witness them. A very special part of the show relates, in a very human way, what happens when you are caught in the shadow of the Moon and the Sun is plunged into a total solar eclipse.
Length: 25 mins
Unveiling the Invisible Universe: For thousands of years the humans observed the light coming from the night sky with their eyes. In the beginning of the 17th century, the invention of the telescope by Galileo revolutionized our knowledge of the Universe. Finally, in the 20th century with the advent of rockets, it became possible to go above the earth’s atmosphere and observe X-ray and gamma ray radiation which are the marks of the hot and violent Universe. But it is not only light that can give us information about the cosmos. Neutrinos and cosmic rays also provide vital information. Finally, the detection by the LIGO experiment of gravitational waves from two merging black holes opened a new window in astrophysics. This video presents images of the cosmos as revealed by all these different messengers
Length: 29 mins
These shows are no longer in our public show rotation but are still available for private events or field trips.
Wilbear's Adventure: All about a Teddy Bear who wants to fly! From the constellations to the story of the Wright Brothers Wilbear learns about the sky and our endeavours to join the birds who fly in it. View a show trailer here. Length: 22 mins Audience: Grades PreK-1
Hubble Vision 2: "HUBBLE Vision 2" is a Full-Dome video about the important discoveries of the Hubble Space Telescope. Discover for yourself where stars are born and how they die; what the first galaxies in the universe looked like; and what happens when a comet crashes into Jupiter! All this, and more, presented using some of Hubble's most amazing images. It's "a fascinating tour of the cosmos - from Earth orbit!". View a show trailer here. Length: 30 mins Audience: General Public
Mars Quest: People have always been fascinated by the planet Mars. Learn about the history of the fascination with Mars from classical times to present day. Many spacecraft have now landed on Mars and we have discovered many important things about Mars through these explorations. Finally, consider what Mars might be like in the Future. Will we ever be able to live there? View a show trailer here. Length: 40 mins Audience: General Public
Saturn the Ring World: Saturn is the true "Lord of the Rings". After nearly seven years in transit, the two-story Cassini-Huygens spacecraft began orbiting Saturn on July 1, 2004. Cassini continues to explore Saturn and its moons during its extended mission, while the Huygens probe had landed on the surface of Titan, Saturn's largest moon. The Cassini Saturn encounter began with a flyby of Saturn's farthest moon, Phoebe. See Saturn up-close and all-around-you inside our dome theater. Narrated by Star Trek's John Billingsley (Dr. Phlox on ENTERPRISE) and was produced by the Houston Museum of Natural Science and NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Length: 22 min Audience: General Public
Voyager Encounters: From 1979 to 1989 the Voyager 1 and 2 missions explored the amazing reaches of our outer solar system. The cameras on these two spacecraft were the first to see many of these solar system objects up close. Join us as we celebrate planet month by investigating the journeys of these two landmark spacecraft. Narrated by Patrick Stewart. View a show trailer here. Length: 43 mins Audience: General Public